Partnering with Precision: My Recap of WPC

A Blog Series for U.S. Partners by Jenni Flinders, Microsoft U.S. Vice President, Partner Strategy and Programs

JenniFlindersThere is strength in our numbers. At no time was that more evident than at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Los Angeles a few short weeks ago. It’s the foundation upon which the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) is premised: Microsoft and our valued partners are collectively better able to win together in the marketplace than we are individually.

Many of you shared with me that WPC 2011 provided unprecedented opportunities for learning, connecting, and strategizing for the future of your businesses. We went into the Conference confident that it would be more effective and exciting than ever, and according to you, we exceeded expectations with content and events like:

  • Sunday’s “Day of Giving,” benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Magic Johnson Foundation;
  • Keynotes from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who detailed some major corporate developments and tipped his hat to the critical relationships between Microsoft and our partner network, and Virgin founder and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, who inspired us all with his entrepreneurial journey and commitment to innovation;
  • The many dynamic sessions in the U.S. Track, which were exceptionally well-attended and well-reviewed;
  • The U.S. Party, which was described as a high-energy, extraordinarily fun time with a great vibe;
  • Exciting first-time opportunities, including a Conference track devoted to SMBs, and WPC’s Minority Networking Event.

Since the Conference, partners have also been telling us about their remarkable experiences while at WPC. Here are examples of the positive feedback we’ve received.

  • From a first-time attendee: “Attending the Worldwide Partner Conference for the first time provided Metafile the opportunity to experience the great diversity within the Microsoft ecosystem,” said Steve Gregory, Metafile partner channel manager. “It was exciting to hear the consistent and strong focus on the evolution of cloud computing in discussions with other partners or hearing it directly from key Microsoft leaders. These messages reinforced the significance of cloud throughout the partner channel, as well as within the Dynamics community.”

  • From a Los Angeles-based attendee: “Worldwide Partner Conference was an exceptional opportunity to work together with the Microsoft team to create actionable plans to drive business in FY12,” said Aaron Sloman, GM for Perficient’s Microsoft National Business Unit. “Having the conference in our own backyard afforded our team the ability to have more attendees and make more connections between Perficient and Microsoft that we may not have had the chance to make otherwise. Perficient is excited for another amazing year with Microsoft, and WPC was the perfect kick off to our year.”

In my meetings with partners at WPC, I learned about their visions and objectives for the upcoming year in the areas of cloud computing and other business productivity solutions. I will use that input to continue to shape Microsoft’s partner initiatives this year. We hope that WPC offered you access to and information about resources that allow you to deepen revenue streams and customer relationships, particularly in cloud-based offerings.

WPC is more than just a “networking event.” It is a critical yearly touch point that drives MPN’s success. Simply put, we win together when we get together. Through MPN, successful partners bring together the complete set of skills and solutions required to solve complex business problems. You are Microsoft’s competitive differentiator.

To extend the dialogue we began at WPC, I look forward to our continued engagement throughout the year. Please visit this blog regularly for the latest MPN developments, and feel free to engage with me directly through Twitter, @Jenni_Flinders. I want to keep hearing from you so that we all win together in the coming year!


Jenni Flinders
Microsoft Vice President, U.S. Partner Strategy and Programs

Read other Partnering with Precision posts on this blog.

Read Previous Posts by Jenni Flinders on the U.S. Partner Portal.

Comments (2)
  1. Christian Buckley says:

    I was impressed by thye shift in focus around the WPC Connect this year — yes, it was there in the past, but there seemed to be much more emphasis on driving people toward Connect and…well, connecting. Excellent event for my company (Axceler) to develop relationships. We signed several new partnership agreements because of this event (a couple right from the exhibition floor), and were able to sit and talk with many existing partners face to face, as well as interact with key Microsoft executives. WPC is a must-attend event.

  2. Kelvin Kirby says:

    Hi Jenni, I just wanted to point out that the Day of Giving was also benefitting the Charity OneXOne, not just the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Magic Johnson Foundation;  OneXOne do some amazing work and were the Charity supported by teh Day of Givings main sponsor IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners) –    All three of course are very worthy causes, but as an enthusiastic advocate  (and IAMCP International Board member), I couldn't let it pass without correcting the omission. =)   Hope you don't mind ? … =)

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